Everton manager Ronald Koeman believes Tottenham have set the example which his own side must follow if they are to meet their ambitions.
The Dutchman is an admirer of Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and what he has accomplished in a relatively short time at White Hart Lane and wants the Toffees to follow suit.
But after a summer of heavy recruitment and promotion of a number of academy prospects he admits it will take time to reach their level.
However, that does not mean he does not expect his side to be competitive when the two meet at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“In my opinion they are one of the strongest teams in the Premier League,” he said.
“Maybe they haven’t had the start they expected (four points from three matches) but they are a really strong side and I like how they play football.
“It is an example of how we need to make the next step as Everton. What they did is hard work, the development of young players and a really good manager.
“On one side we have made steps but on the other side still not. We need time if you bring in so many young and new players in.”
Koeman’s immediate concern is getting more goals out of a side which lost leading scorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United in the summer.
They have managed two goals in the league so far, although they have faced two top-four sides in Manchester City and Chelsea, and after failing to sign a striker on deadline day Koeman has had to recall the previously unwanted Oumar Niasse.
Wayne Rooney will start Saturday’s game despite the furore of his drink-driving charge but Koeman is hoping another new addition Gylfi Sigurdsson can create more chances after an impressive showing for Iceland in the international break, scoring twice in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.
“We will still try to find the productivity we lost with Lukaku going to Manchester United but we have time for that,” the Toffees boss added.
“Gylfi showed his productivity again for his nation. He is that kind of player. He is a good player and I did not have any doubt about his qualities.”
Defender Leighton Baines is set for his 300th Premier League start and Koeman believes the left-back, 33 in December, has plenty of life left in his legs yet.
“That’s a lot and it means a lot for Leighton,” he said.
“I am now in my second season working with him and he is still one of the best in his position and one of the best players.
“If we can keep him fit he has a long time to go even if he is 32. He is a great professional and he had his rest in the last international break.”